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Resource: Mastering Essential Math Skills
Publisher: Math Essentials
Author: Richard W. Fisher
Grade Level: Book One — Grades 4-5 / Book Two — Middle & High School
Telephone: 866-444-MATH (6284)
Retail Price: $19.95 per book
Review By: Jared Carlson

Math proficiency is something we all desire for our kids. After all, it is a well-known fact that children who score well in math usually earn more in their adult lives. Even though money may not be our primary reason for teaching math, it is still recognized that a good math education will prove beneficial throughout a person's life. The question is: How do we bring our kids' math skills to a higher level? In my opinion, Mastering Essential Math Skills will help.

These workbooks will complement, and supplement, any math curriculum you are currently using and, in just 20 minutes a day, each of these lessons will reinforce the skills your child needs to perform math easily and with greater confidence and ability. After reading the Notes to Parents and How to Use These Books sections, I found the simplicity of the system refreshing. Through review exercises, speed drills and problem solving, these methods can't help but solidify the core skills needed to make your child more of a math whiz. In fact, if you were to follow the daily lessons diligently, your child, in my opinion, WILL get better at math.

It is clear that the author, Richard Fisher, has certainly done his homework in developing these workbooks. Created over a twenty-year period, Richard has used these books to take his students to greater math heights, many of them skipping whole math grades.

Each day your child will start with four review problems, which will be followed with two speed drills that would make for great "beat-the-clock" competitions. The next section covers an introduction of new material with helpful hints after which ten problems are to be solved before closing the 20 minute session with a word problem. Remember, these are daily building skills, built step-by-step, helping your child master the basic math skills necessary for math success.

These books will be very easy for you to score as the answer keys to the ten problems are in the back of each book. To make the job even easier, simply remove the answer key pages from the book and place into a folder. That way there is no page flipping to do while grading.

Basic logic tells us that higher math scores begin with a mastery of basic skills. These books are definitely a great idea if you believe your kids need to be Mastering Essential Math Skills.




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